When you use our service, you can get support and advice from our dedicated clinicians at any time by text

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STI information

Many people with sexually transmitted infections (STIs) have no symptoms.

STIs can pass from one person to another during sex, especially if you don’t use a condom.

It is a good idea to get tested, particularly if you have recently changed partners.

Most infections can be cured. If you are diagnosed with an STI you should avoid having sex with anyone until you have completed treatment. If you do have sex, the infection could be passed to your sexual partner.

With our self-testing kits, you can get tested for Chlamydia, Gonorrhoea, Syphilis, HIV, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, with results sent by text within 72 hours.

Fettle makes it quick and easy to be tested for the six most common STIs without having to visit a clinic or GP.

All of our services are supported by qualified and experienced clinicians.

Read more about other STIs, including Bacterial Vaginosis (BV), Thrush, Herpes, Warts, Trichomoniasis, Cystitis and other sexual health issues, like erectile dysfunction, on SH:24.

Contraception information

Contraception helps you control if and when you become pregnant.

There are many types of contraception, so you can choose the right method for your lifestyle. Don't be put off if the first type you use isn't quite right – you can try another.

When choosing a method of contraception you may want to consider whether you want to use a method that contains hormones, whether your lifestyle allows for you to take a pill each day or switch a patch or a ring each week, whether you need constant protection or even whether you are ok with injections.

It’s important that you are comfortable using your chosen method, and that you know how effective it is. If you need help, our specialist clinicians can offer advice and support by text and phone, to make sure you find contraception that works for you.

Only condoms protect you from sexually transmitted infections (STIs) as well as pregnancy.

Fettle makes it quick and easy to order contraception, including emergency contraception, without having to visit a clinic or GP.

All of our services are supported by qualified and experienced clinicians.

More support

There are many charities and support services that offer free, trusted and impartial advice on a variety of topics related to your health.

Find a service that can help you with:

Feeling down, anxious or depressed

Do you feel down or depressed?

Many people suffer from feeling down or depressed. This can make it harder to make safe decisions about sex.

National support services:

MindThe UK’s largest mental health charity. They provide information and advice to people with mental health problems.
National Self Harm NetworkForum providing crisis support, information and resources, advice, discussions and distractions. It is closely monitored and available 24/7.
Papyrus Exists to give young people hope and to prevent young suicide.
Young MindsCharity committed to improving the emotional well-being and mental health of children and young people.
ChildlineConfidential service for people up to the age of 19. You can contact a Childline counsellor about anything.

Do you feel pressured into sex?

Nobody should be forced to have sex if they don’t want to. If you don’t want to have sex, even with a regular partner, you have the right to say no.

National support services:

Victim SupportProvide free confidential support to both men and women.
Ask BrookText and webchat service giving sexual health information, support and signposting for people under 25 in the UK.

Health anxiety

Many people feel anxious about catching an STI. However, if you continue to feel anxious after receiving negative results, or feel the need to test frequently when there is minimal risk of an STI, you may find it helpful to talk to a sexual health professional rather than taking multiple tests.

National support services:

SXTFind your local sexual health service on sxt.

Abuse, violence or assault

Domestic violence

Domestic violence is the abuse of one partner within an intimate or family relationship. It is the repeated, random and habitual use of intimidation to control a partner. The abuse can be physical, emotional, psychological, financial or sexual.

National support services:

Free 24 Hour National Domestic Violence HelplineA national helpline for women experiencing domestic violence, their family, friends, colleagues and others calling on their behalf. 0808 2000 247.
Mankind Initiative

Provides supports to men across the UK suffering from domestic violence or domestic abuse by their current or former wife or partner, including same-sex partners. 01823 334244.

Victim SupportProvide free confidential support to both men and women.

Sexual assault

Sexual assault is when someone touches another person in a sexual way, without that person’s consent. If you have experienced rape or sexual assault, there are specialist sexual assault referral centres (SARC) that can provide you with support.

Support services:

Find your local SARCUse the NHS choices search tool to find a service near you.
The Havens (London)The Havens is a network of specialist sexual assault referral centres (SARCs) located across London and is open 24/7 for victims of sexual assault. If you require urgent support you can call 020 3299 6900 (24 hours). If you need non-urgent information, call 020 3299 1599.

Gangs

A gang is usually considered to be a group of people who spend time in public places, and who:

  • see themselves (and are seen by others) as a noticeable group, and
  • engage in a range of criminal activity and violence
  • they may also identify with or lay a claim over territory, or be in conflict with other, similar, gangs.

National support services:

GangslineGangsline is a non-profit organisation established in 2007 to provide help and support to young men and women involved in gang culture. 0800 032 9538 - Freephone helpline.
Ask BrookText and webchat service giving sexual health information, support and signposting for people under 25 in the UK.
ChildlineConfidential service for people up to the age of 19. You can contact a Childline counsellor about anything.

Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) or Female Genital Cutting

FGM, sometimes referred to as female circumcision, is when a girl's genitals (private parts) are altered or removed. It can cause long-lasting damage as well as ongoing emotional distress.

National support services:

ForwardWomen-led campaign and support charity dedicated to advancing and safeguarding the health and rights of African girls and women. If you, or someone you know, is at risk of FGM or has been affected by FGM you can contact Forward for information on services and one-to-one support. Open Monday to Friday from 9:30 am to 5:30 pm. 0208 960 4000, extension 1, or 07834 168 141 or email support@forwarduk.org.uk
About FGMInformation resource about FGM which provides details of specialist FGM drop-in clinics around the UK where girls and women can access support and advice.

Trafficking

‘Trafficking’ is the movement of a person from one place to another for the purposes of exploitation. Individuals may have been forced, coerced or deceived into travelling, or may have travelled willingly but been deceived about the nature or conditions of work they would experience on their arrival.

National support services:

The Poppy ProjectThe Poppy Project provides support, advocacy and accommodation to trafficked women. 020 7735 2062.

Honour-based violence

The Crown Prosecution Service describes ‘honour’-based violence as an incident or crime “which has or may have been committed to protect or defend the honour of the family and/or the community.”

National support services:

Free 24 Hour National Domestic Violence HelplineA national helpline for women experiencing domestic violence, their family, friends, colleagues and others calling on their behalf. 0808 2000 247.
The Halo Project

A national service that support victims of honour-based violence, forced marriage and FGM. In an emergency call: 08081 788 424 (free phone). When it’s not an emergency and you need to speak to someone for some advice then call: 01642 683045.

Forced Marriage

Forced marriage is when one or more of the people involved in a marriage are being married against their will. It is not the same as an arranged marriage, where the couple both agree to take part in the marriage.

National support services:

The Forced Marriage UnitA public helpline to provide advice and support to victims of forced marriage as well as to professionals dealing with cases. 020 7008 0151 or email: fmu@fco.gov.uk
The Halo Project

A national service that support victims of honour-based violence, forced marriage and FGM. In an emergency call: 08081 788 424 (free phone). When it’s not an emergency and you need to speak to someone for some advice then call: 01642 683045.

Sex, drugs and alcohol

Do you use alcohol or drugs before sex?

Drugs and alcohol can lead you (or your partner) to do things that you might not have done otherwise, or that you might not want to do. You might find yourself in a situation that is beyond your control, or where you are unable to make clear decisions about sex.

National support services:

Talk to Frank Friendly and confidential drug advice.
ChildlineConfidential service for people up to the age of 19. You can contact a Childline counsellor about anything.

Chemsex

Chemsex is a term commonly used by gay and bisexual men to describe the use of certain drugs before or during sex. It is a very specific form of drug use and is defined by the use of a combination of drugs ('chems'). The drugs most commonly associated with chemsex are Crystal Meth (‘Tina’), GHB/GBL (‘G’), and Mephedrone.

Support services:

Friday/MondayFriday/Monday is an online support group and counselling service set up by the Terrence Higgins Trust. It provides free, confidential and discreet support for gay and bi men who want to break cycles around sex, chems and/or alcohol use. Call Terrence Higgins Direct free on 0808 802 1221.

Medication that may reduce your chances of getting HIV

PEP (Post-Exposure Prophylaxis)

PEP is medicine that you can take to prevent HIV infection after you have been exposed to the HIV virus, for example, by having unprotected sex.

National support services:

Terence Higgins Trust

Information on PEP including an online risk calculator to help you work out if you might need PEP.

You can also call THT Direct 0808 802 1221.

PrEP (Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis)

PrEP is medicine that you take before you have sex, if you are HIV negative, to reduce the chance of you getting HIV.

National support services:

Terence Higgins Trust

Information on PrEP including downloadable booklets.

If you want to speak to someone about PrEP you can call THT Direct on 0808 802 1221.

I want PrEP now!A campaign that offers facts and education about PrEP.
PrepsterA website run by HIV prevention activists and includes information about how to obtain PrEP.

Vaccinations

HPV vaccination

The human papilloma virus (HPV) is often spread from skin to skin contact. During sexual contact there are four different types of HPV you are most at risk of: two are low risk and commonly cause warts; the other two are high risk and may cause cervical, penile, anal or throat cancer. Gardasil is a vaccine protecting against these four types of HPV.

Hepatitis A vaccination

Hepatitis A is a virus that affects the liver. It is normally spread in areas with poor sanitation or during anal sexual contact. Generally, Hepatitis A does not normally cause any long term health problems, but can make you quite unwell when you become infected. Some people may experience ongoing liver problems.

There is a vaccine available if you are travelling to countries with poor sanitation, which you can pay for through your GP or travel clinic.

Hepatitis B vaccination

Hepatitis B is a virus that infects the liver, and may increase the risk of developing liver cirrhosis or cancer. Hepatitis B is passed on through an infected person’s blood or bodily fluids.

The Hepatitis B vaccine is a course of three or four injections over 6 to 12 months that greatly reduces the risk of acquiring the virus.